Nine out of ten seniors don’t feel comfortable travelling abroad without travel insurance, and three in five are more likely to take out a travel insurance policy now compared to 2020.
But many struggle to find insurance at an affordable price, meaning many miss out on holidays and travel.
Popular website MOZO has crunched the numbers on the agony of older Australian cruisers and the problems they’ve been having with insurance and their concerns about health.
For instance, 68% want to remain near local medical services, 65% are weary of unexpected medical costs and 54% concerned about COVID-19 infection and 41% who are scared of a new outbreak or virus emerging.
While for many senior cruisers, securing any insurance is proving more important than shopping around at the moment, Claire Frawley, Personal Finance and Insurance Expert at Mozo says it is still always important to remember not to accept your first quote. Especially, to keep in mind that who you insured with before COVID may not still be the best value for your insurance anymore.
“Rushing into a travel insurance policy without shopping around can be a very costly mistake and set holiday budgets back by hundreds of dollars,” she says.
Associate Professor in Tourism at The University of Queensland, Gabby Walters, offers this advice for those Australians feeling anxious about travel plans: “The travel sector is very much in the early stages of recovery and COVID is still causing great disruption, however there are a number of actions travellers can take to ensure they are protected should things not go to plan:
- Pay close attention to cancellation policies, whether these be from accommodation providers or airlines. Some will offer a credit while others will offer full refunds. If a credit is the only option, it is important to check the terms and conditions of the credit redemption – some are more restrictive than others.
- If travelling overseas, checking the status of the intended destination via online sources such as smartraveller.gov.au and the equivalent host destination site is wise as COVID related regulations and policies will differ country to country.
- Finally, consider travel insurance as this can be a good way to add some peace of mind to your next holiday, however it’s worth paying close attention to the terms and conditions as they vary significantly between providers.
Five things to know when buying travel insurance
Matthew Roberts, chief operating officer at My Choice echos Ms Frawley’s sentiments about comparing the options in the market.
“Compare quotes from multiple insurers before buying.
“Do not immediately buy on the travel booking site where you just tick a box and have to pay additional fees for the travel insurance. In most cases, it would cost you more.”
Mr Roberts says to compare quotes against each others, “and get their quotes to ensure you’re not missing out on those offering comprehensive coverage at lower rates.”
If you get quoted for multiple policies, you’ll generally assume that the more expensive quotes are for the most comprehensive insurance, but Damian Tysdal, editor of CoverTrip tells Forbes sometimes one isn’t better, they’re just different.
“This does not mean one plan is worse than the other. It simply means that each company designs its plan to appeal to a different demographic.”
Ensure you read the policies carefully to ensure you aren’t just splashing cash, but only spending on what you actually need covered.
Covered on your credit card?
Often cruisers are warned against relying on their credit card insurance when travelling, however, a way to cut costs can be using your credit card coverage but also taking out a health-only insurance policy.
This way you can get comprehensive health cover, without also paying for things that can already be covered under your credit card insurance.
Get ahead of the game
Getting insurance as early as possible is critical. Not only do experts recommend having insurance before spending any non-refundable money, but this also gives the time you need to shop around and compare.
Whether that looks like researching different policies, talking to insurance companies or getting in touch with a travel agent, if you leave your insurance last minute you risk getting faced with high quotes and unfavourable coverage.
With soaring premiums for seniors seemingly inescapable in cruise at the moment, remember to account for this when putting money aside for a holiday.
If you see a good value cruise fair, remember to think about the destination and length of the cruise, as well as getting an online quote to ensure that you’ll be financially equipped to pay for both your cruise and the insurance. This is of higher importance than ever with some Cruise Passenger readers reporting premiums as expensive as their cruise fare.